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The Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (England) Regulations 2018

On 1 October 2018, the new Regulations of activities involving animals came into force which changed the previous licensing regime for businesses involved in dog boarding which includes home boarding and day care. Anyone engaged in this activity must be licensed and it is against the law to operate such a business without a council license.

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Useful information about keeping dogs.
 
 
Getting a dog
 
Getting a dog from a rehoming centre has its advantages. You will have full information/history about the dog that you want to adopt and the rehoming centre will do everything in its powers to ensure that you and your dog are a good match. You can spend time with the dog so that you can get to know each other before making the final decision.

 
  • If you are going to buy a puppy it is recommended that you buy only from licensed breeders or someone whose dog you know.
  • When buying from a breeder ask to see the dog’s parents.
  • Avoid buying from unlicensed puppy farms.
  • Check relevant paperwork including vaccination records.
  • Have the puppy examined by a vet within 48 hours of purchase.
  • If you are not going to breed from your dog you should have it neutered to avoid the issues associated with entire dogs/bitches.

           
Owning a dog can be great fun and very rewarding. It is a big commitment and you should think very carefully about the breed of dog that is going to be suitable for your lifestyle and living arrangements. If you work, you do not want to leave it at home on its own for long periods of time as this will cause anxiety and create behavioural problems. There are many dog day care facilities that will look after your dog whilst you are at work and ensure that your dog is exercised and has fun and enrichment. Alternatively, dog walkers will drop in during the day to ensure that your dog is OK.

 
Welfare
 
Owning a dog means that you have certain responsibilities many of which are covered by legislation. It is an offence if you fail to take reasonable steps to ensure that the needs of your dog are met. These needs are:

 
  • A suitable environment
  • A suitable diet
  • Exhibits normal behaviour patterns
  • Is housed with, or apart from other animals
  • Is protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

         
Failing to adhere to these rules could lead to you being prosecuted under the law.

Identification
 
A dog is required to wear a collar that states the name and address of the owner or this information must be on a tag which is on the collar. Failing to comply could see you liable to a fine.
 
Microchipping of dogs over the age of 8 weeks has been compulsory since 2016. Owners are also required to ensure that the microchip details are kept up to date.

 
Walking near livestock
 
You should always keep your dog on a lead when walking near livestock no matter how well behaved your dog is. It is an offence for a person in charge of a dog to allow it to attack/chase livestock especially sheep. If a farmer believes that your dog is attacking his livestock he has every right to use all means at his disposal to prevent injury to his livestock which could result in that person’s dog being shot.
 
That person could also be liable to a fine and ordered to pay compensation to the farmer should his livestock be injured.
 
Pet insurance
 
If your dog harms a person, another dog or damages someone’s property it may be possible you could face a claim for compensation against you. It is therefore advisable that you have third party liability insurance. If you have taken out pet insurance to cover vet bills you will probably find that this insurance is provided under your policy but make sure you check the policy details.
 
If your dog becomes sick or has an accident vet bills can be very expensive, so it is strongly recommended that you have some form of pet insurance.

 
Pick up your dog’s poo
 
Failing to pick up your dog’s poo is inexcusable. There is a minority of dog owners who do not do this, and this gives dog owners a bad name.

 
  • Always carry poo bags with you – nappy sacks are the cheapest.
  • Don’t hide or discard it on your walk, take it home or bin it.
  • Don’t lose sight of your dog when walking off the lead.
  • Don’t be afraid to offer an owner a poo bag if you see their dog poo and them fail to pick it up.
  • Dog faeces can be harmful so ensure you wash your hands thoroughly after picking up.

         
Finally you could be fined up to £1000 if caught not picking up.
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